If you’ve decided to give Windows 7 a whirl and have recently installed the
open now closed beta, you’ll have noticed that upon installation you are notified of the fact that you’re lacking proper antivirus software.
This is nothing new and actually has been a “feature” of Windows ever since XP’s SP2 got released and the Security Center came to exist. It’s nothing new either to have a majority of antivirus suites to become incompatible with brand new operating systems – and Windows 7 is no exception, especially more so in its current beta form.
Upon a bit of investigation you probably made your way to the Windows 7 security provider page at Microsoft’s site and perhaps were let down by the fact that the three “officially” supported AVs are all paid software or that your preferred suite isn’t listed (AVG is listed but not the free version). So, we’ve decided to install and test a variety of the more popular options out there so you don’t have to.
We will start things off by confirming that the supported AVs on Microsoft’s page indeed work:
AVG & AVG Free: Compatible **
Kaspersky Antivirus 2009: Compatible
Norton AntiVirus 2009: Compatible
Eset NOD32: Compatible
McAfee Total Protection Beta: Compatible
Avast! Home Edition: Compatible
Avira AntiVir Personal: Compatible
BitDefender Internet Security 2009: Compatible
Trend Micro Internet Security Pro: Incompatible
eScan Internet Security Suite: Incompatible
Ahnlab V3 Internet Security 2007: Incompatible
Needless to say, the similarities between Vista and 7 become apparent from looking at the list above. No doubt AV makers have adapted their applications to interact with the OS internal workings better, so they are easily prepared to work with 7.
Besides installing the suites we toyed with them a little and ran quick/full scans. Those apps listed as compatible should be working fine for you unless some bug in the beta OS (or why not, the AV suite compatibility) becomes self-evident.
If you’re curious about any other antivirus, let us know in the comments and we’ll update the article with our findings (if we can obtain the software) and be sure to let us know if your favorite antivirus is now compatible!
** Update 2/12/09:
Added BitDefender Internet Security 2009 to the list. I experienced no compatibility issues whatsoever throughout the installation, updating and scanning process.
Paul Hayes (Ascully.com) was kind enough of letting us know that AVG’s Mail Scanner portion doesn’t go along well with Outlook, causing it to stop receiving email. We will confirm this ourselves later. I tested this using Outlook 2007 and had no problems at all sending or receiving new/old mail via IMAP/SMTP from my Gmail account. Perhaps the issue is more isolated to a specific configuration and it may even be absolutely unrelated.
** Update 2/13/09:
Added Trend Micro Internet Security Pro to the list. Resulted in BSOD (stop 0x18) and screwed up UAC, couldn’t make any alterations from within Windows. I was forced to manually remove the software in Safe Mode (by deleting program data/registry entries).
Added eScan Internet Security Suite to the list. During installer/uninstaller caused the cursor to randomly move on it’s own and caused general instabilities.
** Update 2/16/09:
Added Ahnlab V3 Internet Security 2007 to the list. It required me to run the compatibility wizard for installation and even then the program was very unstable (stopped responding on multiple occasions, especially when applying settings). Also, the Action Center failed to detect any protection while it was installed. Though it installed/uninstalled and allowed me to update/scan successfully, I would not presently use this antivirus on Windows 7.
** Update 2/25/09:
Added McAfee Total Protection Beta (thank you for updating us in the comments). Experienced absolutely no issues, installation/uninstallation were clean and updating/scanning went smooth. If you were bummed about the previously incompatible offer from McAfee, wipe the tears away and get their beta software.